So what’s been happening?

Hi all,

It’s been a bit of a busy period for me, so I’ve not been writing much. I’ve got a few posts I want to get out, though, so I thought I’d start with why I’ve not been posting much and go from there. Off we go!!


Work

Hoo girl, this has been a biggie. I’ve been stepping up into the position my manager formerly held before leaving. I’ve been doing it with no support from her old/my new manager. I’ve also had to do it while maintaining my old role, picking up some of the extra stuff that’s developed because of service changes, and picking up extra bits my old manager did that should really have been a job on their own. I’m wearing 4 hats and while any one or even 2 at a push would be doable I’m not coping with all 4. I’ve also yet to be paid for any of this step up work (3 months in) and it’s looking like that won’t happen for some time yet either due to rubbish HR and payroll.

I’d like to think of myself as a positive person at work (usually), I’m currently studying management and I know the importance of presenting the attitude and culture you expect to see, but god damn this past week is the closest I’ve gotten to calling in sick for stress or just handing in my notice. If I didn’t have a mortgage to worry about I’d be gone.

And that’s a shame really, I used to like my job. I felt I was making a small but important difference to patient care, making sure nobody was forgotten or “lost”, and helping drive care in a positive direction. Now? I can barely get the contractual minimum requirements met, my whole life is just looking up patients who breach and writing that they breached because we didn’t have enough staff or our processes are shit, and then saying that to our commissioners whilst nobody who can actually improve the situation is present and getting told it’s not good enough.

I know it’s not good enough! I keep saying it’s not good enough! So why do neither of our respective executives do anything about it, other than posturing and writing long letters about how tragic it all is?

There’s a potential light at the end of the tunnel, eventually a new management team are due to start (end of August/beginning of September) and it’ll be up to them if my job even exists any more. From there it’ll be different one way of another, but it’s not exactly filling me with confidence as one of the outcomes is that they recognise the poor job I’ve done holding it together and decide to get someone new in.

Regardless I’ve got (most) of a week off. I’m planning on taking advantage of it by letting work go fuck itself! There’s a lot happening this week, a lot of requirements to get stuff done, and I am not in the least bit concerned that I won’t be able to.


That Tavistock Thing

I’ve not really talked about this yet as I wanted to get a bit more meat to go with before I did, but I’ve submitted a Freedom of Information Request to the Travistock and Portman trust asking for a bunch of data items around their gender identity care.

If you’re not familiar a Freedom of Information Request (or FOI) is a legal framework in the UK whereby public offices are required to respond to any request that is reasonable. A good example of this might be if I wanted to know how many children under 18 were seen by the cancer services of a trust this year, or how many every year for the past 5 years, to have a look at if there is an increase in the area. Anyone can submit a request, there is no requirement to explain what you want to use the information for, and the organisation must respond with the truth. Obviously you can’t ask for anything confidential (so I can’t ask for which people under 18 it was) but high level figures are fine.

This is frequently used by journalists to uncover evidence of improper activity, for example you might find that an organisation employs no women, or only pays women half what they pay men, or that there are no coloured people in any management positions etc. You could also use it to ask about NHS treatment pathways, how many patients are waiting, how long they wait and so on.

What I submitted to the Tavi was a list of several points asking for breakdowns in waiting lists, time waiting, number of Serious Incidents (NHS framework for cases where harm has been done to a patient either deliberately or due to negligence), number of suicides, and copies of their policies for dealing with risk in their waiting list. These are all elements from my own trust I have had to provide before, elements that are basic for NHS care.

Unsurprisingly they refused to comply and didn’t send me anything, citing one of the conditions of an FOI; time/cost. See FOI isn’t a magic spell, it could be used to interfere with an organisations work by asking for something ridiculous, so there are limits. You can request whatever you want but if it would cost more than £450 (£600 for central government) or 18 hours (24 for central government) of staff time to produce your request may be refused.

Tavi argued that what I had asked for would cost too much to produce so refused. I argued that what I had asked for was either basic business intelligence (waiting lists), information they legally must already supply (SIs) or information that must exist and just needs forwarding (policy around risk). After that I got about 3 robot responses, requested their own internal review process review it, and got no response for a month.

I then sent it to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the people who make sure public agencies obey the freedom of information act, who have the power to compel and theoretically take offices to court for not complying. They reviewed the case and have agreed it is worth further investigation, they now have 3 months to review and contact Tavi before responding. We’re about 2 months in now and I’ve not heard anything so I’ll update more when I have.

Once I do have the data I’m going to do a big blog post breaking down what it means. I’ll give Tavi a chance to respond, but I won’t be holding back. From what I do for a living I know where the weak points in a trust are, and a trust this concerned about letting out any information is made up of nothing but weak points.


My Transition

Little movement here, but there’ll be more soon. I’ve got some more comfy underwear that I’m wearing everywhere now, it’s a really nice reminder that I am making progress no matter how small. They’re also waaaaay more comfortable than guy-pants, seriously! Ironically they are boy-shorts, but so soft!

I’ve also upgraded my breast forms. The foam ones from M&S were chafing my chest so I took a risk on Wish again and got some silicon forms. Holy crap ya’ll, that’s a difference. They’ve got weight, movement, presence, and stick so they feel real. Nothing pads out a bra more than an actual boob. I got more than a little emotional looking down and seeing them, I’ll be honest.

The biggest movement is I have an appointment. I’ve been in contact with GenderGP and I’ve got an early intervention consultation booked for Tuesday the 16th by phone where one of their therapists will go through what I need to know to get started. I’m nervous as fuck, but really really excited too.

It’s probably a really common and lazy thought but I don’t want to transition, it’s a huge pain and it’s going to be difficult, dreadful at times, and painful. I want to already be transitioned, all that behind me, and living as the woman I am. I know that realistically that can’t happen though (unless that gender-changing gun from Area-51 I’ve been seeing a lot about happens??), and that the only way to be the other side of transitioning is to get started.

Knowing that I’m getting itchy to get going, I don’t want to hang around anymore, I want to start making a change. This is going to be a good starting point.


What else….

Erm….. I don’t know! I’ve been playing a bit of Cities Skyline on PS4, making the glorious bastion of civilisation that is Gaytopia. It has given me a greater appreciation for how hard designing a city or new estate actually is. America had it easy building everything new on big bloody grids, England is hard mode with all the weird little offshoots, strangely angled bits of land, nothing being in a regular pattern…. but it’s also a bit of a challenge in Cities to not build on a grid and have traffic actually flow. I’ve learnt a lot about dividing roads up and down lane sizes, junctions, and public transport. Who the hell would have thought you could have a traffic jam on your underground train line??

Since that I’ve also got the new Asscreed; Odyssey. That’s pretty fun, I skipped out on the Egyptian one because I really wasn’t on board with an RPG version of Screed, but this version works quite well. It’a real shift in thought process though, but I’ve ploughed all of my upgrades into improving my assassination so I can play it exactly like the old games. I’ll probably do a proper review once I’ve done the story.

What next?

I’ve got some ideas for blog posts. These include (in no particular order):

  • Review of Kingdom Hearts 3
  • Post on Compulsory Trans Activism
  • Critical Role State of Play
  • Review of a bunch of manga I’ve read
  • Review of Good Omens
  • Transition progress (what next after GenderGP appointment)

And whatever else I can be bothered with! A couple of these I’m going to be writing now as I already have the layout in my head. I’m going to schedule whatever I get to post weekly so hopefully there’ll be a bit more #content going forward.

Remember I do have a twitter where I generally post stupid things and make fun of Nazis and the far right.

Remember to stay safe and love each other.

Sammy

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